mudroom

Mudroom Misery to Mastery

In my fantasy life, I will print my official title on my business card as Head Mistress of the Mudroom. Clutter shall be tamed. None of my peeps will ask me where their snow boots are with as many as eleven seconds to spare before we must leave for school. One tranquil morning will follow another.   

In this life, I'm satisfied to help another mom bring a measure of order to the mudroom chaos. She had reached her limit with the builder-grade room connected to the rear entry of their home. It was obviously a low-priority item when the home was constructed, as if the builder decided that something had to be placed next to the rear door. This is something, so let's do it. Shoes and coats overwhelmed the space. Hats and gloves went missing.

It was mudroom misery and time to rethink that default decision made years ago.  

We started by demolishing a partial wall that interfered with the layout, redoing the electrical, and replacing the old floor with 12x24 porcelain tile to withstand the weather, dog, and an active family. We then installed custom cubbies along one wall with a quartz bench for durability and easy cleaning.

Each child has a cubby with space below for shoes, a drawer, coat hooks, and a backpack hook. The mix of open and closed storage provides easy access and flexibility for storing seasonal items. Each cubby also has an outlet with USB ports. Built-in storage boxes for tablets, phones, and laptops keep the electronic devices safe and in place while charging. 

Each child has a cubby with space below for shoes, a drawer, coat hooks, and a backpack hook. The mix of open and closed storage provides easy access and flexibility for storing seasonal items. Each cubby also has an outlet with USB ports. Built-in storage boxes for tablets, phones, and laptops keep the electronic devices safe and in place while charging. 

We needed to account for extra footwear for adults and kids, plus pet food and accessories for the family dog, so we looked to the opposite wall for a good storage solution.

Three levels of extra storage for footwear allow for quick rotation when the weather turns. The top drawer contains leashes, collars, and dog toys for Molly while the bottom drawer holds her food. The quartz countertop and placement near the rear door was designed as a landing zone to handle car keys, cell phones, and groceries. 

Three levels of extra storage for footwear allow for quick rotation when the weather turns. The top drawer contains leashes, collars, and dog toys for Molly while the bottom drawer holds her food. The quartz countertop and placement near the rear door was designed as a landing zone to handle car keys, cell phones, and groceries. 

Finally, we installed a full length mirror, baskets for homework, clock, and magnetic white board. 

We framed the mirror and white board to match the cabinetry, each child has a school basket, and the whiteboard is a convenient messaging companion to all of the devices in our digital world. 

We framed the mirror and white board to match the cabinetry, each child has a school basket, and the whiteboard is a convenient messaging companion to all of the devices in our digital world. 

A functional mudroom is an important feature for many families as we mentioned last year in The Humble Mudroom on the Rise. It might be too much to ask for one tranquil morning after another, but builder-grade blah did not rise to the challenge for this family. This mudroom is now set up for the kids, adults, and Molly, too. We hope it serves them well for a very long time.   

 

  

       

The Humble Mudroom on the Rise

The recent heatwave has caused a minor eruption of muddy boots in our mudroom. It reminded us of how important--and yet often overlooked--a good mudroom is for families. We believe the mudroom is in second place for most under-appreciated room in the house after the often-neglected laundry room

It shouldn't be that way. Homeowner tastes can change in a few short years (see kitchen countertop choices, bathtubs, and flooring options, to name a few), but one constant remains for Northshore families: the value of the mudroom. It's the place to stash everything from sports equipment to backpacks to mittens. Some include laundry machines or dog baths and others have workstations. As varied as the people who use them, mudrooms come in different shapes and sizes. In fact, we find some of the greatest value can be found in compact spaces. The common thread is that a well-executed mudroom adds major utility points for the homeowner. It shouldn't be an afterthought when planning a new build or renovation. Mary Jo Bowling has several contributions worth reading at Houzz when planning a mudroom, and we've included a couple we like below, but first take a look at a familiar picture for those of you who have toured new construction in recent years.

Your typical builder-grade, new construction mudroom.

Above is a very common sight in new construction homes: a bank of vertical partitions with hooks, bench, and cubbies above. New home builders use this format by default because it is easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and allows them to check the mudroom box when the property is marketed. It's not particularly imaginative, too tall for kids to reach the top cubbies, and does not provide for closed storage (everything hangs out in the open), but it's fairly efficient and functional for the basics.  

A big improvement over the builder-standard mudroom.

Now take a look at this thoughtfully designed custom mudroom with both open and closed storage, a rolling library ladder to access the top cubbies which are neatly contained by wicker baskets, and dual-level storage for boots and ice skates below with shoes and sandals above. We adore the library ladder and can't wait to install one at the earliest chance we get!

Mudroom plus workstation

In this example, we mixed open and closed storage, spacious closets just out of the frame, and a niche workstation to handle paperwork, charge devices, and schoolwork. No matter the square feet, we really enjoy building a mudroom that punches above its weight class. 

Don't let a mudroom slip by the wayside when contemplating a new home or renovation. It might exist on the periphery of your home, but it serves an important function and can be as eye-catching as the kitchen or bathroom details you spent hours laboring over. If the details of the mudroom are too much to digest now, don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to help.     

  

  

    

Remodeling and Home Design